It’s no secret that moms are superheroes, capable of running a global company or inspiring nonprofit while also feeding their kids healthy meals, helping with homework and cheering the loudest at the soccer game. The 50 moms we’ve chosen to spotlight here are raising families and also focusing their exceptional energy, talents, and skills on making the world a healthier and better place for us all. Whether they’re working to end childhood obesity or championing local and sustainable farming, they’re making the world a better place, and serve as inspiration to us all. Click on each photograph to learn more about each remarkable mom, then let us know via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram whom you’d like to nominate for our next annual Moms On A Mission list by tagging Clean Plates and #MomsOnAMission.
Kids: 2 daughters
Bio: Cofounder of the Obama Foundation, former First Lady
Why We Love Her: The former FLOTUS took advantage of her time in the White House to champion children’s health, diet, education, and other social work. With the help of elementary school kids, she planted a 1,100-square-foot vegetable garden on the White House’s South Lawn in 2009, then developed the Let’s Move campaign to address childhood obesity the following year. Her work led to healthier school meals and snacks for 50 million kids; galvanized changes on the Nutrition Facts label on 800,000 products; and got the national conversation about healthy eating kickstarted. (She also created the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ State Dinner, with Clean Plates’ Editorial Director, Tanya Steel and a few others.) Next up: She and the former POTUS will “build programs to inspire us all to be better citizens and to help young leaders develop their ideas” through their Obama Foundation.
Favorite Healthy Snack: Apples; the Obamas kept the fruit at easy reach throughout the White House.
Kids: 2 daughters
Bio: Co-founder of The Honest Company, actress
Why We Love Her: Alba co-founded The Honest Company in 2011, a service that ships diapers, formula, sunscreen, vitamins and other kids’ essentials directly to families as well as selling in retail stores. All of the products are made without potentially health-compromising chemicals or compounds.
Work/Life Balance Tip: “Be present,” Alba says. “When you’re at the office, focus on work, and when you’re at home, focus on spending quality time with your family.”
Kids: A daughter
Bio: Chef, author, food activist, founder/owner of Chez Panisse
Why We Love Her: Known for championing local, sustainable agriculture, Waters opened Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, in 1971, decades before kale became the rock star it is today.
In 1995, she founded the Edible Schoolyard Project, which teaches kids from kindergarten through high school about growing food, cooking and making healthy choices. She’s also been the vice president of Slow Food International since 2002, and has earned many awards, including the National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Obama in 2014, and Harvard Medical School’s Global Environmental Citizen Award in 2008.
Favorite Comfort Food: Grilled cheese